Before we entered the forest section of the Reserve we started picking up birds in more open areas.
First up is a Black Striped Sparrow. Sounds common but this is the only time I recall seeing it.
Then I managed a much better shot of a Pacific Hornero. This is a common bird but quite handsome and it makes a good shot here on a fencepost.
Then we struck it lucky with the first of three Cuckoos we were to see today.
Here is a Squirrel Cuckoo. See the resemblance? but this one has a much longer tail. It is 45 cms long as opposed to 28 for the Little Cuckoo.
I wondered where the name came from until I saw it move through the branches, then it is obvious. It runs along and leaps from branch to branch like a squirrel. It normally flies only short distances, mainly gliding with an occasional flap. So it looks and moves just like a squirrel, using that tail for balance and stability.
The Striped Cuckoo here is quite different and is in a separate genus. It is one of very few brood parasitic cuckoos of the Americas, liking Spinetails or Wrens that build dome shaped nests in which it lays a single white egg. Although it is quite a common bird it is again normally timid and skulks in the undergrowth, so I was lucky to catch one in the open singing on a wire.
Yes, Toucans again. This time Chestnut Mandibled Toucans which are a subspecies - (swainsonii) - of the Black Mandibled Toucan. Difficult to tell apart but the bill coloration is definitely a deep chestnut brown as opposed to black.
These birds clearly have the pale lower mandible and I am just counting the one species on my trip list.
The Buff Throated Saltator is described as common around the forest edge. Well there it was at the forest edge, right enough. Good, a normal bird, it's almost a relief.
The return to normality continued with a couple of Seedeaters. The Yellow Bellied Seedeater below is so called because of a hint of lemon yellow on its underparts. I don't think it refers to its cowardly nature.
The other Seedeater in the long grass is a Variable Seedeater. As if to prove a point it is tucking in to a seed in my photo, good bird.